The Bible is a book of books, sixty-six of them, divided into two testaments, or covenants.
The designations Old Testament and New Testament focus on two great covenants God made with His people:

The OT is divided as follows:
Tawrat: (Pentateuch or the law of Moses)       Genesis - Deuteronomy.                                              History: (Joshua - Esther)
Wisdom/Poetry:  (Job/Ayub, Psalms/Zabur, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs)                  Prophets/Ambian: (Isaiah - Malachi)

VIDEO:  Prof. Faouzi Arzouni: Allah's redeeming purpose for mankind from Tawrat, Zabur & prophets through the promise of a pure sacrifice for forgiveness of sin for some future date, was to be fulfilled in the Messiah.

The Prophets, 17 books consist of the 5 Major Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel and Daniel)

and the 12 Minor prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah/Yunus, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi)


While some prophetic messages included visions and dreams of the future, the primary task of all the Prophets was to call the Israelites back to faithfulness to their covenant God and to obedience to the terms and conditions of their covenant with him.


Free download of the Prophets (Ambian) in modern Urdu

http://urdugeoversion.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Sahaif-i-Anbiya.pdf

Isaiah

 

Author:            The Prophet Isaiah

 

Audience:        The people of Judah and

                        Jerusalem

 

Date:               740 – 680BC

 

Theme:            Isaiah predicts imminent

                        judgment – but eventual

                        restoration – for the

                        people of Judah and

                        Jerusalem



Prophet Isaiah (740-680BC) was an adviser to the kings of Judah (Ahaz, Hesekiah, Manasseh, Amon). In the first part of the book, ch. 1-39, God tells the people to turn away from sin and disobedience so that the Assyrian armies will not invade Judah as God’s punishment. He calls the people to lead lives of truth and justice. But he also promises to send the Messiah, God’s true king, who will be given to them as a little child.

Jesus chose a passage from Isaiah (61:1-2) as the text of his first sermon and he clearly knew the book very well. Isa. 53 has been taken by Christians to be one of the deepest insights into what the death of Jesus means.

 

From ch.40, the people are pictured in captivity in Babylon. God will not forget them but will lead them home. He is Lord of all the earth and all of history. The Jews are part of his plan and have a mission to all nations on earth. They must live in close relationship to God and keep his pattern of life.


Jeremiah

 


Author:            The Prophet Jeremiah

 

Audience:       The people of Judah and Jerusalem

                        during the reigns of their last five Kings

 

Date:               626 – 586BC

 

Theme:           Jeremiah, the prophet of the new

                       covenant, predicts Judah’s Babylonian

                       imminent exile and ultimate restoration

                       under the coming Messiah




God chose Jeremiah (627-586BC) as his prophet during one of the saddest periods in Jewish history. The book ends with a description of the destruction of Jerusalem and the slavery of its people. With great feeling and emotion, Jeremiah speaks into this tragic situation. What he sees hurts him deeply and he is able to put these deep feelings into words. Through all the suffering, the power and faithfulness of God are still at the heart of his message and faith: “Do not be afraid… I am with you” (46:28).

 

Although Jeremiah was a prophet like Isaiah (740-680BC), he was a very different kind of person, very sensitive and sometimes rather moody. He was afraid that the penalty for speaking God’s message would be his own death, and he didn’t like being made fun of as he passed on his severe, unpopular predictions and some of the book I like listening in to very private conversations.


Lamentations

 

 

Author:       Jeremiah

 

Audience:   Jews in Babylon exile who

                   are lamenting the destruction

                   of Jerusalem

 

Date:            shortly after the fall

                    of Jerusalem in 586BC

 

Theme:       The Prophet and his fellow

                   Jews lament at the

                   destruction of their beloved

                   city of Jerusalem at the

                   hands of the Babylonians

 

This book has continued to speak through history to the present day because of its honesty as it describes the reality of human suffering in a ruined city. The passage most familiar to many tells of God’s great faithfulness (3,23)

 

Lamentation is a collection of five poems. They were written by some one who saw the terrible effects of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians first hand; and who asks, in a state of grief, what it all means. However painful it is, God must be somewhere in all the hurt and suffering. The writer is overwhelmed by the misery, but he continues to trust in God’s authority and justice. The last poem is a prayer asking God to restore the people to himself and to renew them.


Ezekiel

 

Author:         The Prophet Ezekiel

 

Audience:     Jews of Jerusalem & Judah,

                     who were taken captive to

                     Babylonia in 597BC

 

Date:             593-571 – BC

 

Theme:         Ezekiel the priest assures his

                     fellow Jews that God will one

                     day return them to Jerusalem

                     and restore the temple


The message of this book is that God is the Lord of all the earth. He is so pure and holy that for a human being to be in his presence is an overpowering experience. God’s message is uncompromising, his will is clear and unchanging. However hard it may seem, his one aim is to have his people know that he is the Lord. The book ends with a breathtaking description of a new temple and a New Jerusalem. The name of the city is “THE LORD IS THERE.”

 

While Jeremiah (627-586BC) was warning God’s people in Jerusalem, Ezekiel (593-571BC) had begun passing God’s visions and messages in Babylonia. He had gone into exile with one of the first groups, before the ruin of Jerusalem 587 B.C. Ezekiel was a person with a vivid and creative imagination. He pictured God’s message and sometimes acted it out u unforgettable ways. Some of his visions inspired John, the writer of the last book of the Bible, Revelation (in Injiil).

 

The book includes descriptions of visions of God (1-3; 8-11; 40 and 43); Jerusalem (Al Quds) as a prostitute (16); Ezekiel as a guard (33); God as a good shepherd (34); and a valley of dry bones that come to life (37).

Daniel





Author:            The Prophet Ezekiel                               Date:               about 530BC

 

Audience:        The Jewish exiles in Babylonia             Theme:           The most high God is sovereign over all human kingdoms


Prophet Daniel (605-537BC) had been taken as a slave to Babylon where he was selected to serve the royal court. He was very gifted and God looked after him. Eventually he became, in effect, prime minister.

He and his friends were tested to the point of death because of their faith in God and obedience to his law. The first six chapters tell of these testing’s and include the famous stories of the blazing furnace, and the lions’ den.


The rest of the book contains some of Daniel’s prophetic visions about the future of the world. There was to be much more trouble in store for God’s people, but in the end every person would bow down and worship someone called “the son of man.” This was one of the names Jesus (Isa) called himself.

 

Hosea



Author:         Hosea

 

Audience:     Primarily the Northern

                     Kingdom of Israel

 

Date:             Probably after the fall of

                     the northern capital,

                     Samaria (722-721BC)

        

Theme:         God’s compassion and

                     covenant love that cannot

                     let Israel go

          

   

 

Hosea (753-722BC) was a prophet who addressed his messages to Israel the northern part of the invaded kingdom. He talked of the very personal and deep love of God for his people. Though they were often disobedient and unfaithful to him, his love did not waver. He warned the people that they would be judged for their sin, but promised that in the end God would win the nation back to himself, his love was stronger than their disloyalty. In a surprising and moving way Prophet Hosea’s own marriage and family life were picture’s of God’s relationship with his people. Hosea’s wife, Gomer, was unfaithful to him and he understood in a very personal way how God felt.

Joel

 

Author:        Joel

 

Audience:    The people of Judah

 

Date:            Probably between the

                    late seventh and early

                    fifth centuries BC

 

Theme:        Restoration and

                    blessing will come to

                    the people of Judah

                    only after judgment and

                    repentance



In this book Prophet Joel (852-841BC) described a terrifying plague of locusts and a drought. The locusts invade the land and destroy it just like an army. All farm life, city life, temple life comes to a halt and the land is filled with crying and weeping. Joel tells how this plague is a picture of God’s judgment: it can’t be stopped and it will affect everyone. He urges the leaders to call for a day of prayer and fasting so that each one of them, young and old, men and women alike. In the New Testament (Injiil) some of these promises of resurrection are fulfilled in Jesus (Isa), (eg. Acts 2:32). Peter preached that the promise of the Holy Spirit (Ruhallah) (2:28) was fulfilled at Pentecost (Acts 2).


Amos


Author:        Amos                                       Audience:        Primarily the idolatrous and indulgent people of the Northern Kingdom

 

Date:            about 760-750BC                     Theme:            Call for social justice as the indispensable expression of true piety

 

In the middle of the 8th century B.C. Israel, the northern kingdom, seemed to be just as it should be: the nation was at peace, it was prosperous, and religious observance was regular and popular. A deeper look showed the picture to be false, and God called Amos, (767-753BC) a farmer from Judah, to spell out the real state of affairs. The whole of the nation’s life was unjust and unfair; the poor were despised; the courts were rigged; business was dishonest; and money seemed to buy everything. The worship of the people was like a great cover-up. Prophet Amos stressed that religious, would escape his judgment. Only after the nation of Israel has repented will everything be as it should be.

Obadiah

 

Author:     Obadiah

 

Audience: The people of Judah

                 suffering the treachery of

                 the Edomites, descendants

                 of Esau

 

Date:         Probably the time of the

                 Babylonian attacks on

                 Jerusalem (605-586BC)

 


Theme:     Prophecies of Judgment against the proud Edomites who are gloating over Jerusalem’s devastation by foreign powers


After the quarrel between Jacob (Yakub) and Esau, Jacob became father of the nation o Israel, while Esau founded the nation of Edom (see Gen. 36:9). The quarrel went on for centuries and the Edomites, whose main city was an impressed fortress, particularly enjoyed seeing the Israelites suffer at the hands of the other nations. When Jerusalem (Al Quds) was destroyed by the Babylonians the Edomites actually cheered and helped the invaders. Prophet Obadiah (850-800BC) predicted that while Israel will be restored, the Edomites will be destroyed. No one can escape God’s justice and Judgment. In his time he will put all wrongs right: his kingdom will triumph.


Jonah

 

Author:      Unknown

 

Audience:  Northern Kingdom of Israel

 

Date:          Jonah prophesied during the reign of

                  Jeroboam II (793-753BC); the date of

                  its writing was between 750 and 725BC

 

Theme:     God’s loving concern and love for all

                 people, the stubborn reluctant Jonah

                 represents Israel’s jealousy of her

                 favored relationship with God and her

                 unwillingness to share the lord’s

                 compassion with the nations


The book of Jonah (Yunus) is an unusual one among the prophets because most of it is about what happened to the prophet rather than what he said. Prophet Jonah (776-745BC) is called to go to the capital of Assyria to tell its people how terrible their sins are. Understandably he runs away, but God makes sure he goes to Nineveh by providing a big fish to bring him to his senses. When he eventually delivers is message the people are touched and turn from their wickedness. Jonah sulks, but God tells him tat he is concerned with that great city, as he is with every nation on earth. The story emphasizes the fact that God loves the whole of his creation: however much people turn from him, he seeks to save them rather than destroy them.


Micah

 

Author:            Micah

 

Audience:        The people of Israel and

                        Judah, especially the

                        oppressive land-grabbers,

                        who supported Israel’s

                        corrupt political and

                        religious

 

Date:                Probably between

                        700-650BC

 

Theme:            Prophecies of Doom & prophecies of Hope, divine judgment and deliverance


Prophet Micah (750-686BC) lived in a country town in Judah at the time of Isaiah. It was a grim period in history of God’s people. The northern kingdom, Israel, has been smashed by the Assyrians and the same fate surely awaited Judah with its great capital Jerusalem (Al Quds). Judah was a nation that had become unjust and corrupt. The king actually shut the temple and sacrificed his own children: there were was dishonesty and bribery (2 Chron. 28). Micah saw that the judgment of Judah would be terrible; yet he told of a time ahead when God would turn the darkness into light. This is one of the books which includes the great passage about nations who “will hammer their swords onto plows” (4:3). It also records promises about the great descendants of David (Dawud) (5:2-5).


Nahum

 

Author:        Nahum


Audience:   The people of  Judah


Date:           Shortly before 650BC

 

Theme:        Predicts the Lord’s judgment

                    on Nineveh for her 

                    oppression, cruelty, idolatry

                    and wickedness


Prophet Nahum (640-627BC) describes a terrible vision in which the great Assyrian city if Nineveh is attacked. It is one of the most dramatic pictures in the Bible, in the books of the prophets: charging cavalry, flashing swords, and glittering spears. After the attack those that are still alive run away from the city to the mountains, and as the news of the destruction spreads, other people clasp their hands with joy. The Assyrians were brutally cruel and now they themselves were to suffer. Nahum ells how God is “slow to get angry,” but one who will always bring judgment on evil. No one, no nation, however powerful, will ever escape God’s judgment. He is Lord of all the earth.


Habakkuk

 

Author:            Habakkuk

 

Audience:        The people of  Judah,

                        struggling to comprehend the

                        ways of God

Date:                about 605BC

 

Theme:            The Prophet Habakkuk argues

                        with God over God’s ways,

                        which appear to him

                        unfathomable, if not unjust;

                        after receiving replies from

                        God, Habakkuk responds with

                        a beautiful confession of faith


This book is about Prophet Habakkuk’s hard questions to God and the answers he receives.

It is very frank and personal. Habakkuk (608-605BC) sees cruelty, fighting and injustice all around him and wants to know why God isn’t doing anything about it: “why are you silent?” God tells Habakkuk to write down his reply on clay tablets (2:2). God’s judgment will come, but it ill seem slow in coming. It is necessary to wait for that time, but it will be worth the wait: “The oceans are full of water. In the same way, the earth will be filled with the knowledge of my glory” (2:14). The last chapter is a prayer of Habakkuk in which he promises to trust God and wait for him to act whatever happens: he will “be glad because of what the Lord has done” (3:18).


Zephaniah


Author:     Zephaniah

 

Audience: The people of  Judah,

                struggling to comprehend

                 the ways of God

 

Date:        between 640 and 627BC

 

Theme:    The Prophet Zephaniah

                predicts the coming of the

                day of the Lord, when

                God will severely punish

                the nations, including

                apostate Judah, but will

                yet be merciful to his

                people


Prophet Zephaniah (640-622BC) tells of how angry God is at the sin of Judah and every other nation. There is idol worship, killing, and stealing, God’s instructions are being disobeyed during the rule of King Josiah. A day is coming when God will judge and punish the nations. Nineveh will be a deserted ruin, inhabited only by animals, owls, and crows. Despite God’s righteous anger and the terrible destruction that is coming, God still loves his people and calls them back to himself. The book ends with a song of joy for it sees the time when the punishment will be over because God is “mighty enough to save” (3:17). God will gather his people back to himself and shower his love on them in all kinds of ways.

Haggai

Author:      Haggai                              Audience:        The postexilic Jews living in Judah                            Date:     520 BC

 

Theme:     The Prophet Haggai calls the complacent people of Judah to resume to rebuild the temple and hence give glory to God

 

After some Jews returned from Babylon there was great enthusiasm and rejoicing when the foundation of the temple was completed. But this did not last. There was a lot of opposition from surrounding nations and all progress stopped for several years (see Ezra  1-4). The people concentrated on their own affairs, their appearances, and their own houses. So Haggai saw them living in their good houses while the house of God, the temple (Haykal) was still in ruins. The people are urged to continue to rebuild the temple because the day is coming when God will fill the temple with his glory (see Ezra 5-6). In the future, as they give God his rightful place he will bless them. The ripples of what happens in Jerusalem will be seen and felt all over the world until the end of history.


Zechariah

 

Author:     Zechariah


Audience: postexilic Jews

                 living in Judah

Date:         520 to about 480BC

 

Theme:     Prophet Zechariah

                 rebukes and

                 encourages the

                 discouraged exiles

                 who have returned

                 to Jerusalem from

                 Babylonia to

                 complete the

                 rebuilding of the

                 temple


Prophet Zechariah worked closely with the Prophet Haggai (520-516BC). He spoke at a time when Jews had resettled in Jerusalem and had begun rebuilding the temple. The temple was still not complete so Zechariah (520-516BC) passes on a series of visions and messages from God to inspire the people to finish the work and to be ready for God’s return. The book brings alive God’s promises. There is glorious future awaiting the Jews. The Messiah will come and a new age will dawn. As the whole picture unfolds it becomes steadily grander: God is Lord of all people, of all nations, of all history. It is his world and nothing will prevent him from achieving what he has promised and set out to do. The prophecy of Jerusalem’s king entering the city is one referred to in the New Testament when Jesus enters the city (Al Quds) (see Matt. 21:1-11).


Malachi


Author:      Malachi                           Audience:        The postexilic Jews living in Judah                                 Date:     about 430BC

 

Theme:     The Prophet Malachi assures the postexilic Jewish community that the Messianic King will come not only to judge his

                 people but also to bless and restore them


Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament (Tawrat, History, Zabur, Hykmat, Prophets) was written after the temple had been rebuilt, yet about 400 years before the coming of Christ (Al Masih). After the initial enthusiasm for God’s law the Jews have begun to doubt God’s promises told to them by Prophets like Haggai and Zechariah. Their worship has become empty and lifeless, and their daily living was not as honest or air as they knew it should be. Prophet Malachi (433-425BC) tells the people that however they may feel, God has not changed and his law (Shariah of Moses) still stands. The people hope that he will come to save them.

So the Old Testament, (and so the Prophets) close with a promise that the day is coming when God will act, but it will be a painful experience for all who do not obey God’s laws. For those who do obey him, God will pour out so much blessing that they will not have room enough for it!